Heat pumps: all about installation and financial assistance

A heat pump is both a heating system and an air conditioner. Generally, a heat pump can heat a house when the outside temperature is down to -8 °C.

It’s extremely efficient, but in extreme cold you need to use it along with another heating system. However, this appliance does decrease how much you need to use the other system, which is usually more expensive, so a heat pump saves you money on your energy bill. There are now also low-temperature heat pumps that can be used in temperatures as low as -20 °C.

Types of heat pumps

Central heat pumps and wall-mounted heat pumps, which can be installed in homes with hot air heating systems, are the most common types. Air-to-water heat pumps connect to the hot water heating system. They make less noise but cost more to install.

Choosing the right heat pump for your home

There are several things to consider when purchasing a heat pump to ensure it can properly transfer hot or cold air to every room in your home, which will affect its price. These details include:

  • Layout, surface area and volume of the house
  • Orientation of the house and the dimensions and position of the windows
  • Geographic location
  • Type of construction
    Insulation and airtightness

5 factors to consider

  1. Your electrical system must be able to support your heat pump.
  2. Typically, you need to plan for 12,000 BTU/h per 650 ft2 in a home. In Canada, heat pumps for residential homes are rated at 65,000 BTU/h (19 kW) or less.
  3. You need to check its coefficient of performance (COP), which is the ratio of thermal energy compared to the electricity your heat pump needs. A high COP means the pump is more efficient.
  4. Check municipal regulations regarding the location of your heat pump.
  5. You must also maintain your heat pump. Some installation companies also offer maintenance services if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Financial assistance

To support the energy transition, the Government of Quebec provides various grants for heat pumps, like Rénoclimat, Novoclimat Home and Novoclimat Small Multiple-Unit Building to improve your home’s energy performance (during a renovation or construction).

Hydro-Québec also offers up to $2,800 in financial assistance to purchase and installan energy-efficient heat pump.
You must have purchased a new heat pump from the eligible equipment list to qualify. This list is also where you’ll find how much financial assistance is given based on the model.

The heat pump also must be installed in an eligible home by a qualified company registered with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec and the appropriate licences from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec.

After that, all you have to do is enjoy your comfy home—warm in the winter, cool in the summer!

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What sort of maintenance is required?

To maximize the efficiency and lifespan of your heat pump, remember to maintain the unit as recommended by the manufacturer.

Some tasks, such as cleaning filters, coils and the condensation drain, and inspecting the fan and ducts, can be done on your own. However, some inspections and procedures must be performed by a qualified contractor, such as checking the pressure of the refrigerant and its circuit components and inspecting the electrical components.

In addition, make sure that water, snow and ice on the roof of your house do not fall on the heat pump fan. If the unit is exposed to strong winds, build a windbreak around it.

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